The Carter Blog
The impact of your generosity
Sep 01, 2021
As the manager of individual giving at the Carter, I work with the rest of our Development and Membership staff to make sure the Museum has the resources it needs to carry out its mission. Every September, organizations across the DFW area participate in North Texas Giving Day. Today marks the launch of the 2021 event, and I'm reflecting on the many ways in which our community has supported the Carter. My favorite part of my job is hearing how the spirit of generosity works in two directions—why our members, donors, and volunteers give their time and money, and how it impacts other people.
What do I mean?
Every time I speak with a member or call someone to say “thank you” for their donation, is an opportunity to hear their story about the Museum. How their grandparents took them to the Carter when they were children. How they no longer live in Fort Worth but the Carter remains deeply important to them. How the artists they love are represented at the Museum and they want to ensure that future generations can enjoy them just as much.
On the other side, as I go about my work I hear from staff how the generosity of others helps the Museum bring joy and happiness to our community. As in when our Access programs manager describes the visually-impaired visitors who were able to use tactile tools to experience the art. Or the teacher in West Texas who passed along how much they appreciated the inclusion of a guided art activity in one of our distance-learning programs. Or even one of our gallery associates emailing about how the Art Workers label for John Quincy Adams Ward’s The Freedman deeply touched a visitor.
Best of all are the times I get to see the impact of our supporters first-hand. I recently watched one of our docents give an impromptu tour to a group of four children accompanied by their grandparents. Our docents are all very knowledgeable and engaging guides to the Museum’s collection, so it did not surprise me that she had the children recognizing art as “avant-garde” after only a few minutes.
But what was most satisfying was hearing one of the grandparents tell the docent that they were amazed and delighted at how focused the children were on the art and her words. I love working for an institution that has accumulated many moments like this over its 60-year history.
These and other stories, especially from the past year with its varied challenges, continue to inspire me. And if you find yourself inspired, there are multiple ways in which individuals and organizations can support the Carter.
Our membership program has long been an important part of the Museum and offers great benefits and access. Tax-deductible donations give the Museum a flexible source for funding events for schoolchildren, adults, families, educators, and those with special needs, just to name a few examples. Volunteers, many of whom become experts on the Museum’s collection and history, serve as docents and assist in the library and archives. Even attending an artist talk, program, or event helps to support the Museum—your attendance is proof that our community values the Carter. And when you write or call or stop us in the galleries to share your feedback, it resonates with all of us who believe in the Carter’s mission.
The Carter would not be able to collect, care for, and exhibit one of the finest collections of American art and would not be able to give as many people access to this art if it wasn’t for your support.